Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It's not funny because it's our money

146 Responses

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  • mic weevil,

    It is sheer audacity to be asking our Education, Health and Conservation ministries to be tightening their belts while this kind of wasteful spending is taking place.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Bee,

    I can't even bring myself to watch it *rage*

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Forgive me for raising the roof, but...

    Four words: SOCIALISM. FOR. THE. RICH.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5423 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nah, the saddest thing is that Ministerial Question Time is supposed to be a pretty basic mechanism for public transparency and accountability in a legislature that actually has real and lasting impacts on people's lives.

    Brownlee isn't the first to treat it like open mic night at a third rate comedy club -- hell, he's not even the worse since we now have a Speaker who will insist (for the most part) Ministers at least make a plausible impersonation of answering the question. But it's tiresome beyond belief.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Brownlee isn't the first to treat it like open mic night at a third rate comedy club

    Our "Esteemed Prime Minister" also enjoys this disgraceful abuse of Parliament. I have said it before and I will continue to pronounce that this, so called Government, is acting more and more like an opposition, who are they opposing? all of us that's who.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Brownlee is one of the ugly faces of the National Party…and I’m not talking about his appearance. Somewhere I have an mp3 of him in full cry, making his contempt for democracy and accountability all too clear. I’ve kept it to remind me there are genuine democracy-hating fascists in the National Party…and they hold many important jobs. I’ll post it somewhere later today. In the meantime, here is a Scoop story reporting Gerry Brownlee, in 2009, simply refusing to answer a question about mining on conservation land. Relevant to recent moves to enable mining in……conservation land. Scoop story

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    Does seem fascinating that Genter has an ( valid) issue about expensive consultants reports , when she is the author of a number of expensive consultants reports.

    As well , to be caught out by Brownshirt over whether Levin- Otaki was a RoN or not seems sloppy

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Raffe Smith, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    But Otaki-Levin is listed as part of the Wellington Northern Corridor RoNS by the NZTA here. Gerry was telling a fib.

    Mount Albert. • Since Nov 2006 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    The "Levin to Wellington Airport" Wellington Northern Corridor suggests that there's a decent chance the Otaki to Levin section is/was part if that project.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Also surprising that Brownlee doesn't want to do business cases for walking/cycling projects or for NZTA to investigate the economic impact of urban form from a transport perspective.

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hardly a fair contest of intellect, is it? And this is one of the government's geniuses in charge. Sorry, Christchurch. Note Winston sniffing blood and demanding some attention.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Genter is talking about over $200m in consulting fees for early stage work on the RONS projects. The policy reports she worked on were worth a tiny fraction of that (and a different form of 'consulting').

    The cancelled expressway section was most certainly part of the project - hoping someone pings Brownlee for lying to Parliament.

    But don't take our word for it - here's the actual experts at TransportBlog. Oh, and there's an NZTA map if you need visual evidence.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    From the Transport Agency website

    Otaki to Levin

    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has completed preliminary work on investigating improvements to the approximately 30km section of State Highway 1 (SH1) from north Otaki to north of Levin. This project is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, which has been identified by the Government as a road of national significance.

    (http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/project.html?ID=103)

    considering there are only 7 roads with this status it is inconceivable that Brownlee did not know this highway was part of it. It is also inconceivable that Genter didnt seek to table this part of the website that pointed this out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    If Otaki- Levin is a RoN , why was Brownlee allowed to get away with his lie. This was the big story and the primary question.

    eg Can the Minister confirm that Levin Otaki is NOT a RON as he said in his primary.

    Genter had at hand the numbers for the rebuttal over the traffic comparison of Puhoi and Auckland rail loop, and this was an answer to a follow up question.

    One of these people is a former woodwork teacher while the other is a transport planning expert. But he seems to have bested her - fair means or foul.

    And could Genter stop her sniggering at the beginning of answers. That is certainly what you would expect at a '4th rate' comedy club

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers, in reply to Tristan,

    Genter is a new MP. She may yet seek to table that information when she has had time to think and consult / get advice. If the Minister is lying that could / should see a complaint to the Speaker....one he can't help but uphold because Brownlee got caught making sh*t up.....again.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    why was Brownlee allowed to get away with his lie

    I imagine someone will force him to apologise to the House.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    he seems to have bested her

    Really? Lying and resorting to personal attacks is not usually a sign of success, is it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    And could Genter stop her sniggering at the beginning of answers. That is certainly what you would expect at a ‘4th rate’ comedy club

    She was smiling because the business-case reports Brownlee was deliberately mocking were her work -- he was trying to get at her. Perhaps she should practice her stern face for such circumstances, but it seems harsh to judge her on that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    he seems to have bested her

    really?

    I thought by the time Brownlee was forced to tell the lame lame jokes twice he was clearly Not Winning.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Perhaps she should practice her stern face

    Sometimes laughter is the best response to people behaving absurdly. Metiria used it to great effect on the recent Native Affairs panel when village idiot Brendan Horan started spouting about the hygiene of the poor (no I'm not kidding).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I thought by the time Brownlee was forced to tell the lame lame jokes twice he was clearly Not Winning.

    Brownlee's brand of gloating philistinism hasn't done his career any harm. This is the guy whose being "too busy" to attend his Ilam candidates meeting didn't even need to be spun as some kind of political plus - sheer electoral inertia took care of that. Any mutterings of outrage from the assembled citizenry were quelled by a poisonous glare from the diminutive forelock tugger who made the announcement.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I wonder if voters mistake bluster for strength, or if they're silently wanting a scared little boy in charge.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Gerry serves at the behest of the Queen, as do they all. They swear no allegiance to the voters, none at all. Secretly the coalition govt. is trying to behave so terribly that a Republic seems inevitable.
    Then, Brownlee for President.
    Footnote, would love to join the dots on this deal, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10820433
    Solid Energy is of course, up for sale.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    One of Brownlee's anonymous online acolytes was recently defending his CERA role by claiming he works 80 hours per week. Presumably it's bad form to draw attention to the fact that he's also morbidly obese.

    That a proactive political grotesque gets away with this sort of third-world nonsense is an ugly, ugly reflection of whats wrong with us.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    eg Can the Minister confirm that Levin Otaki is NOT a RON as he said in his primary.

    Gerry: “Yes.”

    Now what?

    (He did say it twice. At a guess he thinks it’s a section of a RON, not a RON. Not sure if the grammar actually works for that.)

    Anyway, you could spend all your time back and forth that or keep after actual information on the off chance some accidentally emerges.

    Admittedly it is traditional to take a point of order pointing out, in parliamentary language, that the minister is making stuff up – and then be told that’s not a valid point of order. But anyone who would care about that already heard. We’re talking about it here, right?

    And I can’t recall the details but one of the unfortunate things Lockwood has done is set the ‘misleading parliament’ bar quite high.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

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